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    ADZHARIAN LEADER MAKES HIS PREMIER RESIGN

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    TBILISI, APRIL 6, 2004 (RIA Novosti corresondent Marina Kvarakhtselia) - Aslan Abashidze, leader of Adzharia [a breakaway region in the former Soviet republic of Georgia], has made Revaz Shamilishvili resign from the post of Adzharian Prime Minister and appointed Rostom Japaridze as his successor. Spokespeople for the Adzharian administration explain Shamilishvili's dismissal by his insufficient performance, which has reportedly led to a serious budget deficit.

    A Georgian Finance Ministry delegation, comprised of Deputy Minister Zurab Soselia, the heads of the customs and the tax units, and the head of the financial police, is now in the Adzharian capital of Batumi. They meet with regional officials to discuss the possibility of opening branch departments of Georgia's Treasury and Financial Police.

    The chief tax and customs officials on the Georgian delegation are also planning visits to the Batumi port, to the Sarpi checkpoint, on the border with Turkey, and to the regional tax inspectorate.

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